Time and time again I’m asked by family, friends, clients, and people in general, “What should I eat if I want to lose weight and get lean?”
My answer never changes: lean protein, lots of green veggies, and keep your starchy carbohydrates to a minimum. However, I sometimes forget that not everyone knows exactly what these things mean.
Here’s a complete breakdown of the dos and dont’s of what to eat if you’re looking to lose weight.
Protein: Protein is what builds lean muscle mass. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest. Try to consume protein with every meal. Some protein sources include: eggs, fish, chicken, beef, pork, any poultry (like Cornish hens or duck), tofu and whey protein powder.
Carbohydrates: Anything with sugar in it is a carbohydrate. I recommend completely avoiding all starchy carbohydrates (bread, rice, pasta, potatoes). Green veggies should by your main source of carbs, and other vegetables can be consumed in moderation. Corn is not a vegetable. Peas are also a very starchy choice. Fresh fruit can be eaten before noon. Avocados contain fat but are an excellent source of nutrients and very good for you.
Fats and Dairy: Fats should be consumed in moderation and saturated fat in particular. Avoid fried food completely. Cook with olive oil or cooking spray. I like to use organic, soy, or heart healthy butter. Dairy should be consumed in moderation due to the fat content, among other things. Yogurt contains protein, but be sure you are getting light or plain yogurt. Yogurt high in sugar contains too many carbs. Cheese has protein in it but it is also high in fat and contains carbs. Eat it sparingly.
Beans and Nuts: Beans and nuts both contain protein, but they are still high in carbohydrates as well. Eat these in moderation. If you are having beans, try to eat them without the rice. Nuts are high in fat, and protein, but also contain a significant amount of carbohydrates. A small handful is the correct portion for a snack.
Don’t forget to do your cardio and drink lots of water. Always stop eating before you are full. There are many different ways to lose weight effectively, but as I’ve outlined above, my preference is to adhere to a high-protein and low carbohydrate diet. This is what has consistently worked for me and my clients, and what leaves me feeling my best.
Wishing you health and happiness,
Holly Lowe Jones is a media professional, fitness expert, and ISSA certified personal trainer. A member of the National Association for Health and Fitness, Jones is also a seasoned triathlete who competes in her spare time.
For more information, please visit her website www.hollylowejones.com.
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